Effects of the Affordable Care Act on Health Behaviors After 3 Years

Charles Courtemanche, James Marton, Benjamin Ukert, Aaron Yelowitz, Daniela Zapata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


This paper examines the impacts of the affordable care act (ACA)—which substantially increased insurance coverage through regulations, mandates, subsidies, and Medicaid expansions—on behaviors related to future health risks after 3 years. Using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and an identification strategy that leverages variation in pre-ACA uninsured rates and state Medicaid expansion decisions, we show that the ACA increased preventive care utilization along several dimensions, but increased risky drinking. These results are driven by the private portions of the law, as opposed to the Medicaid expansion. We also conduct subsample analyses by income and age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-33
Number of pages27
JournalEastern Economic Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 4 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, EEA.


  • Affordable care act
  • Health behavior
  • Health insurance
  • Medicaid
  • Preventive care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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